Kei Kamara PK fiasco could make striker last-minute trade bait

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In the 52nd minute of Saturday’s 4-4 draw between the Montreal Impact and Columbus Crew SC, we witnessed one of the more entertaining and disturbing moments you’ll see on a penalty kick.

Columbus duo Kei Kamara and Federico Higuain each made it known that they wanted to step up to the spot and take the penalty kick. Eventually Higuain took it and scored, however, the team’s glaring collapse after leading 4-1 was the least of their worries by the end of the night.

According to Sports Illustrated‘s Grant Wahl, Columbus is now seeking a last minute trade for Kamara, a DP striker.

As Wahl alludes to on Twitter, moving a DP is difficult enough because MLS limits its teams to three, but now teams also must consider this tirade as a forewarning for any potential buyer.

According to head coach Greg Berhalter, the team announced on Tuesday that Kamara will be suspended one match for his handling of the PK situation in front of the media during postgame interviews.

Kamara is coming off of in what most years would have been an MVP season, had it not been for the brilliance of Toronto FC forward Sebastian Giovinco. The 31-year-old Kamara notched 22 goals and added eight assists in 2015, and has already scored five goals in nine matches this season.

The MLS primary trade deadline closes on Wednesday, giving Columbus very little time to work with in this situation.

Who would entertain taking on Kamara though?

As it stands, there are seven MLS teams that could potentially add Kamara as a DP acquisition. Those teams are D.C. United, Houston Dynamo, New England Revolution, New York Red Bulls, Philadelphia Union, Seattle Sounders and Sporting Kansas City.

For the sake of argument though, we’ll consider all potential routes, especially since a DP for DP swap would be the most likely scenario in completing a deal.

The favorites

Chicago Fire: It may sound off, but Chicago does have someone that they could offer in return to Columbus. Gilberto has been a well-traveled forward, and another move would be his third in two seasons, but he could make an easy transition into a potent Crew attack. While he has yet to find the back of the net in 2016, Gilberto is five years younger than Kamara and has produced in his brief time in MLS.

D.C. United: With 11 goals in 10 games and a massive dip in form since the halfway point of 2015, D.C. is in desperate need of a lift. While Kamara’s locker room and now on-field antics are certainly a concern, head coach Ben Olson could be managing for his job this season so the move would at least give fans something to be hopeful for.

Interesting, but probably not

Atlanta United FC: For a team that has yet to officially make their MLS debut, this would be quite the story to kick off their franchise. Atlanta doesn’t have any DPs registered to their roster, so that wouldn’t be an issue. What they would be doing though is taking on a contract for a player that cannot contribute in 2016. The team could potentially loan Kamara out to another MLS side or abroad if possible, but this scenario is a bit of a stretch.

Philadelphia Union: Currently sitting third in the East, a move like this could either send the Union over the top with talent or cause them to fold like a cheap tent. For the sake of argument, Philadelphia has two open DP slots and scoring hasn’t necessarily come at a premium this season. The team has been stout defensively so adding Kamara into the mix with C.J. Sapong and company up front could do the trick in making this squad elite.

Long shot

Sporting Kansas City: Head coach Peter Vermes tends to stray away from high-profile foreign internationals and this may be the same instance. Given Kamara’s checkered past when it comes to getting along in the locker room, it’s probably not going to be on the team’s mind to go after the veteran. That being said, the potential tandem of he and Dom Dwyer would immediately be one of the top attacking duos in the league and likely bolster an SKC team that has gone winless in their last six matches.

New York City FC: David Villa and Kamara sounds pretty tasty as a front two tandem. How would it get done though? NYCFC currently has three DPs, one of which is occupied by the Spaniard. There isn’t much value in Columbus looking to acquire Andrea Pirlo or Frank Lampard, unless they are extremely desperate to trade Kamara. Another potential scenario would be to trade Mix Diskerud and/or Kwadwo Poku, the team’s two top assets. That would require some maneuvering of finances though to buy down Kamara’s contract with Target Allocation Money, and that would be tricky to say the least.

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